I remember when I started a topic on animal rights on the ISF, the topic of a vegan diet came up. I said I couldn't adopt that myself, as that would make me a hypocrite, since the cats in my care at the rescue are obligate carnivores. I said that as long as the livestock animals are treated humanely while they're alive, that would have to be my moral standard.
Since then, I've listened to other arguments from various progressive commentators like Lee Camp and Jimmy Dore on why people should eat less meat, if not stop altogether. The biggest reason is that the meat industry has a devastating impact on the environment. Cattle ranching is a principal contributor to global warming and consumes more water and arable land than any other farming practice. Factory farming has resulted in massive lagoons of sewage that are just stored in the open and sprayed into the air, where it often lands on nearby towns.
I've had a weight problem for a while now, due to my medications and a sleep disorder. I've been struggling to lose weight to no avail. I found out earlier this year that I have fatty liver (not the disease, but the early stages). This is what it took to convince me that I need to eat less meat, if not cut it out entirely. The problem is that I have no idea how to transition, because every time I've tried in the past, I've failed.
Then I remembered this restaurant in my area, and I wanted to mention it when I saw the title of this thread.
I don't have a gluten allergy, so that option is still open. I can tolerate beans for the most part. I just don't know how to cook like this.
I've been vegan and gluten free for over 20 years now. I approach meals in two ways, first I often make a meal with the traditional one protein source, one carb source and one veggie. In other words I often cook meals in which I simply substitute a non-meat protein source for the usual meat. You can buy prepared meat analogs like chikun and not-beef. These can be bought as shelf stable dry goods (TVP) or frozen patties shaped like cuts of meat.
My second method that I'm using more these days is to build a meal around a protein source that does not resemble meat, like kidney beans, garbanzo beans etc but without trying to make it a three course meal. Dishes like aloo gobi, soups, stews, etc apply here.
I eat a lot of rice because of my celiac disease. Bread is an occasional treat rather than a daily thing because most gluten free bread is almost entirely starches with high glycemic rate.
Over the long term anyone on a purely vegan diet is extremely likely to develop B12 deficiency. Very few vegan foods contain any B12, The body will use stored B12 for 6 months or even a few years, but without B12 supplementation you will develop a deficiency.
As far as beans go, assuming use of canned beans, rinse them very thoroughly to wash away most of the polysaccharides that cause gas and indigestion. When using dry beans discard the soaking water.
As with any other major diet change eventually your gut flora will adjust and you'll have more of the tiny organisms needed for your diet.
We often hear expressions of concern about whether there is sufficient protein in the vegan diet, this is based on a common misunderstanding about foods. Almost every food we eat contains some protein, it is extremely rare for a person who is not going hungry to have a protein deficiency. Elephants get 100% of their protein from plants, so do great apes.
As far as gluten free foods go, unless a person has celiac disease or some other wheat intolerance there is no advantage to a GF diet, it is inferior. Gluten free baked goods are not vitamin enriched, tend to have very low protein and very low fiber, and they promote constipation and type 2 diabetes. I definitely advise against using gluten free versions of popular foods that usually contain gluten unless there is a need to do so.